The killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) gene cluster exhibits extensive allelic and haplotypic diversity. Variation at the locus is associated with an increasing number of human diseases, reminiscent of the HLA loci. Characterization of diversity at the KIR locus has progressed over the past several years, particularly since the sequence of entire KIR haplotypes have become available. To determine the extent of KIR haplotypic variability among individuals of northern European descent, we genotyped 59 CEPH families for presence/absence of all KIR genes and performed limited allelic subtyping at several KIR loci. A total of 20 unique haplotypes differing in gene content were identified, the most common of which was the previously defined A haplotype (f=0.52). Several unusual haplotypes that probably arose as a consequence of unequal crossing over events were also identified. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis indicated strong negative and positive LD between several pairs of genes, values that may be useful in determining haplotypic structure when family data are not available. These data provide a resource to aid in the interpretation of disease association data involving individuals of European descent.
KIR haplotypes; CEPH; Linkage disequilibrium
The definition of human MHC class I haplotypes through association of HLA-A, HLA-Cw and HLA-B has been used to analyze ethnicity, population migrations and disease association.
Here, we present HLA-E allele haplotype association and population linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis within the ~1.3 Mb bounded by HLA-B/Cw and HLA-A to increase the resolution of identified class I haplotypes. Through local breakdown of LD, we inferred ancestral recombination points both upstream and downstream of HLA-E contributing to alternative block structures within previously identified haplotypes. Through single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of the MHC region, we also confirmed the essential genetic fixity, previously inferred by MHC allele analysis, of three conserved extended haplotypes (CEHs), and we demonstrated that commercially-available SNP analysis can be used in the MHC to help define CEHs and CEH fragments.
We conclude that to generate high-resolution maps for relating MHC haplotypes to disease susceptibility, both SNP and MHC allele analysis must be conducted as complementary techniques.
In humans, genetic variation in endocannabinergic signaling has been associated with anthropometric measures of obesity. In randomized trials, pharmacological blockade at the level of the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) receptor not only facilitates weight reduction, but also improves insulin sensitivity and clinical measures of lipid homeostasis. We therefore tested the hypothesis that genetic variation in CNR1 is associated with common obesity-related metabolic disorders.
Materials & methods
A total of six haplotype tagging SNPs were selected for CNR1, using data available within the Human HapMap (Centre d’Etude du Polymorphisme Humain population) these included: two promoter SNPs, three exonic SNPs, and a single SNP within the 3′-untranslated region. These tags were then genotyped in a rigorously phenotyped family-based collection of obese study subjects of Northern European origin.
Results & conclusions
A common CNR1 haplotype (H4; prevalence 0.132) is associated with abnormal lipid homeostasis. Additional statistical tests using single tagging SNPs revealed that these associations are partly independent of body mass index.
CNR1; genetic association; haplotype; HDL; high-density lipoprotein; LDL; low-density lipoprotein; obesity; triglyceride
Chemokine signals and their cell-surface receptors are important modulators of HIV-1 disease and cancer. To aid future case/control association studies, aim to further characterise the haplotype structure of variation in chemokine and chemokine receptor genes. To perform haplotype analysis in a population-based association study, haplotypes must be determined by estimation, in the absence of family information or laboratory methods to establish phase. Here, test the accuracy of estimates of haplotype frequency and linkage disequilibrium by comparing estimated haplotypes generated with the expectation maximisation (EM) algorithm to haplotypes determined from Centre d'Etude Polymorphisme Humain (CEPH) pedigree data. To do this, they have characterised haplotypes comprising alleles at 11 biallelic loci in four chemokine receptor genes (CCR3, CCR2, CCR5 and CCRL2), which span 150 kb on chromosome 3p21, and haplotyes of nine biallelic loci in six chemokine genes [MCP-1(CCL2), Eotaxin(CCL11), RANTES(CCL5), MPIF-1(CCL23), PARC(CCL18) and MIP-1α(CCL3) ] on chromosome 17q11-12. Forty multi-generation CEPH families, totalling 489 individuals, were genotyped by the TaqMan 5'-nuclease assay. Phased haplotypes and haplotypes estimated from unphased genotypes were compared in 103 grandparents who were assumed to have mated at random.
For the 3p21 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data, haplotypes determined by pedigree analysis and haplotypes generated by the EM algorithm were nearly identical. Linkage disequilibrium, measured by the D' statistic, was nearly maximal across the 150 kb region, with complete disequilibrium maintained at the extremes between CCR3-Y17Y and CCRL2-1243V. D'-values calculated from estimated haplotypes on 3p21 had high concordance with pairwise comparisons between pedigree-phased chromosomes. Conversely, there was less agreement between analyses of haplotype frequencies and linkage disequilibrium using estimated haplotypes when compared with pedigree-phased haplotypes of SNPs on chromosome 17q11-12. These results suggest that, while estimations of haplotype frequency and linkage disequilibrium may be relatively simple in the 3p21 chemokine receptor cluster in population samples, the more complex environment on chromosome 17q11-12 will require a higher resolution haplotype analysis.
chemokine; SNP; haplotype estimation; pedigree analysis; linkage disequilibrium
A recent high-density linkage screen confirmed that the HLA complex contains the strongest genetic factor for the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). In parallel, a linkage disequilibrium analysis using 650 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers of the HLA complex mapped the entire genetic effect to the HLA-DR-DQ subregion, reflected by the well-established risk haplotype HLA-DRB1*15,DQB1*06. Contrary to this, in a cohort of 1,084 MS patients and 1,347 controls, we show that the HLA-A gene confers an HLA-DRB1 independent influence on the risk of MS (P = 8.4×10−10). This supports the opposing view, that genes in the HLA class I region indeed exert an additional influence on the risk of MS, and confirms that the class I allele HLA-A*02 is negatively associated with the risk of MS (OR = 0.63, P = 7×10−12) not explained by linkage disequilibrium with class II. The combination of HLA-A and HLA-DRB1 alleles, as represented by HLA-A*02 and HLA-DRB1*15, was found to influence the risk of MS 23-fold. These findings imply complex autoimmune mechanisms involving both the regulatory and the effector arms of the immune system in the triggering of MS.
The 11q23.1 genomic region has been associated with nicotine dependence in Black and White Americans.
By conducting linkage disequilibrium analyses of 7 informative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the tetratricopeptide repeat domain 12 (TTC12)/ankyrin repeat and kinase containing 1 (ANKK1)/dopamine (D2) receptor gene cluster, we identified haplotype block structures in 270 Black and 368 White (n = 638) participants, from the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area cohort study, spanning the TTC12 and ANKK1 genes consisting of three SNPs (rs2303380–rs4938015–rs11604671). Informative haplotypes were examined for sex-specific associations with daily tobacco smoking initiation and cessation using longitudinal data from 1993–1994 and 2004–2005 interviews.
There was a Haplotype × Sex interaction such that Black men possessing the GTG haplotype who were smokers in 1993–2004 were more likely to have stopped smoking by 2004–2005 (55.6% GTG vs. 22.0% other haplotypes), while Black women were less likely to have quit smoking if they possessed the GTG (20.8%) versus other haplotypes (24.0%; p = .028). In Whites, the GTG haplotype (vs. other haplotypes) was associated with lifetime history of daily smoking (smoking initiation; odds ratio = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.1–2.4; p = .013). Moreover, there was a Haplotype × Sex interaction such that there was higher prevalence of smoking initiation with GTG (77.6%) versus other haplotypes (57.0%; p = .043).
In 2 different ethnic American populations, we observed man–woman variation in the influence of the rs2303380–rs4938015–rs11604671 GTG haplotype on smoking initiation and cessation. These results should be replicated in larger cohorts to establish the relationship among the rs2303380–rs4938015–rs11604671 haplotype block, sex, and smoking behavior.
DNA sequence variation within human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes mediate susceptibility to a wide range of human diseases. The complex genetic structure of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) makes it difficult, however, to collect genotyping data in large cohorts. Long-range linkage disequilibrium between HLA loci and SNP markers across the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region offers an alternative approach through imputation to interrogate HLA variation in existing GWAS data sets. Here we describe a computational strategy, SNP2HLA, to impute classical alleles and amino acid polymorphisms at class I (HLA-A, -B, -C) and class II (-DPA1, -DPB1, -DQA1, -DQB1, and -DRB1) loci. To characterize performance of SNP2HLA, we constructed two European ancestry reference panels, one based on data collected in HapMap-CEPH pedigrees (90 individuals) and another based on data collected by the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (T1DGC, 5,225 individuals). We imputed HLA alleles in an independent data set from the British 1958 Birth Cohort (N = 918) with gold standard four-digit HLA types and SNPs genotyped using the Affymetrix GeneChip 500 K and Illumina Immunochip microarrays. We demonstrate that the sample size of the reference panel, rather than SNP density of the genotyping platform, is critical to achieve high imputation accuracy. Using the larger T1DGC reference panel, the average accuracy at four-digit resolution is 94.7% using the low-density Affymetrix GeneChip 500 K, and 96.7% using the high-density Illumina Immunochip. For amino acid polymorphisms within HLA genes, we achieve 98.6% and 99.3% accuracy using the Affymetrix GeneChip 500 K and Illumina Immunochip, respectively. Finally, we demonstrate how imputation and association testing at amino acid resolution can facilitate fine-mapping of primary MHC association signals, giving a specific example from type 1 diabetes.
Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in adjacent genes, lymphotoxin alpha (LTA +252G, rs909253 A>G) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF −308A, rs1800629 G>A), form the G-A haplotype repeatedly associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in individuals uninfected with HIV-1. This association has been observed alone or in combination with HLA-B* 08 or HLA-DRB1*03 in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Which gene variant on this highly conserved extended haplotype (CEH 8.1) in Caucasians most likely represents a true etiologic factor remains uncertain. We aimed to determine whether the reported association of the G-A haplotype of LTA-TNF with non-AIDS NHL also occurs with AIDS-related NHL. SNPs in LTA and TNF and in six other genes nearby were typed in 140 non-Hispanic European American pairs of AIDS-NHL cases and matched controls selected from HIV-infected men in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. The G-A haplotype and a 4-SNP haplotype in the neighboring gene cluster (rs537160 (A) rs1270942 (G), rs2072633 (A) and rs6467 (C)) were associated with AIDS-NHL (OR=2.7, 95% CI: 1.5–4.8, p=0.0009 and OR=3.2, 95% CI: 1.6–6.6 p=0.0008; respectively). These two haplotypes occur in strong linkage disequilibrium with each other on CEH 8.1. The CEH 8.1-specific haplotype association of MHC class III variants with AIDS-NHL closely resembles that observed for non-AIDS NHL. Corroboration of an MHC determinant of AIDS and non-AIDS NHL alike would imply an important pathogenetic mechanism common to both.
Human Leukocyte Antigen; HIV; CD4; Multicenter AIDS Cohort NHL Study
The Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC, 6p21) codes for traditional HLA and other host response related genes. The polymorphic HLA-DRB1 gene in MHC Class II has been associated with several complex diseases. In this study we focus on MHC haplotype structures in the Finnish population. We explore the variability of extended HLA-DRB1 haplotypes in relation to the other traditional HLA genes and a selected group of MHC class III genes. A total of 150 healthy Finnish individuals were included in the study. Subjects were genotyped for HLA alleles (HLA-A, -B, -DRB1, -DQB1, and -DPB1). The polymorphism of TNF, LTA, C4, BTNL2 and HLA-DRA genes was studied with 74 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism). The C4A and C4B gene copy numbers and a 2-bp silencing insertion at exon 29 in C4A gene were analysed with quantitative genomic realtime-PCR. The allele frequencies for each locus were calculated and haplotypes were constructed using both the traditional HLA alleles and SNP blocks. The most frequent Finnish A∼B∼DR -haplotype, uncommon in elsewhere in Europe, was A*03∼B*35∼DRB1*01∶01. The second most common haplotype was a common European ancestral haplotype AH 8.1 (A*01∼B*08∼DRB1*03∶01). Extended haplotypes containing HLA-B, TNF block, C4 and HLA-DPB1 strongly increased the number of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes showing variability in the extended HLA-DRB1 haplotype structures. On the contrary, BTNL2 block and HLA-DQB1 were more conserved showing linkage with the HLA-DRB1 alleles. We show that the use of HLA-DRB1 haplotypes rather than single HLA-DRB1 alleles is advantageous when studying the polymorphisms and LD patters of the MHC region. For disease association studies the HLA-DRB1 haplotypes with various MHC markers allows us to cluster haplotypes with functionally important gene variants such as C4 deficiency and cytokines TNF and LTA, and provides hypotheses for further assessment. Our study corroborates the importance of studying population-specific MHC haplotypes.
We report the identification of two novel minor histocompatibility antigens (mHAgs), encoded by two separate single nucleotide polymorphisms on a single gene, BCL2A1, and restricted by human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*2402 (the most common HLA-A allele in Japanese) and B*4403, respectively. Two cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clones specific for these mHAgs were first isolated from two distinct recipients after hematopoietic cell transplantation. Both clones lyse only normal and malignant cells within the hematopoietic lineage. To localize the gene encoding the mHAgs, two-point linkage analysis was performed on the CTL lytic patterns of restricting HLA-transfected B lymphoblastoid cell lines obtained from Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain. Both CTL clones showed a completely identical lytic pattern for 4 pedigrees and the gene was localized within a 3.6-cM interval of 15q24.3–25.1 region that encodes at least 46 genes. Of those, only BCL2A1 has been reported to be expressed in hematopoietic cells and possess three nonsynonymous nucleotide changes. Minigene transfection and epitope reconstitution assays with synthetic peptides identified both HLA-A*2402– and B*4403-restricted mHAg epitopes to be encoded by distinct polymorphisms within BCL2A1.
minor histocompatibility antigen; hematopoietic cell transplantation; cytotoxic T lymphocyte; graft-versus-leukemia effect; linkage analysis
Protein tyrosine phosphatase non-receptor type 22 (PTPN22) is the third major locus affecting risk of type I diabetes (T1D), after HLA-DR/DQ and INS. The most associated single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs2476601, has a C->T variant and results in an arginine (R) to tryptophan (W) amino acid change at position 620. To assess whether this, or other specific variants, are responsible for T1D risk, the Type I Diabetes Genetics Consortium analyzed 28 PTPN22 SNPs in 2295 affected sib-pair (ASP) families. Transmission Disequilibrium Test analyses of haplotypes revealed that all three haplotypes with a T allele at rs2476601 were overtransmitted to affected children, and two of these three haplotypes showed statistically significant overtransmission (P=0.003 to P=5.9E-12). Another haplotype had decreased transmission to affected children (P=3.5E-05). All haplotypes containing the rs2476601 T allele were identical for all SNPs across PTPN22 and only varied at centromeric SNPs. When considering rs2476601 ‘C’ founder chromosomes, a second haplotype (AGGGGC) centromeric of PTPN22 in the C1orf178 region was associated with protection from T1D (odds ratio=0.81, P=0.0005). This novel finding requires replication in independent populations. We conclude the major association of PTPN22 with T1D is likely due to the recognized non-synonymous SNP rs2476601 (R620W).
PTPN22; haplotypes; type I diabetes; T1DGC
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic multisystem genetically complex autoimmune disease characterised by the production of autoantibodies to nuclear and cellular antigens, tissue inflammation and organ damage. Genome-wide association studies have shown that variants within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region on chromosome 6 confer the greatest genetic risk for SLE in European and Chinese populations. However, the causal variants remain elusive due to tight linkage disequilibrium across disease-associated MHC haplotypes, the highly polymorphic nature of many MHC genes and the heterogeneity of the SLE phenotype.
A high-density case-control single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) study of the MHC region was undertaken in SLE cohorts of Spanish and Filipino ancestry using a custom Illumina chip in order to fine-map association signals in these haplotypically diverse populations. In addition, comparative analyses were performed between these two datasets and a northern European UK SLE cohort. A total of 1433 cases and 1458 matched controls were examined.
Using this transancestral SNP mapping approach, novel independent loci were identified within the MHC region in UK, Spanish and Filipino patients with SLE with some evidence of interaction. These loci include HLA-DPB1, HLA-G and MSH5 which are independent of each other and HLA-DRB1 alleles. Furthermore, the established SLE-associated HLA-DRB1*15 signal was refined to an interval encompassing HLA-DRB1 and HLA-DQA1. Increased frequencies of MHC region risk alleles and haplotypes were found in the Filipino population compared with Europeans, suggesting that the greater disease burden in non-European SLE may be due in part to this phenomenon.
These data highlight the usefulness of mapping disease susceptibility loci using a transancestral approach, particularly in a region as complex as the MHC, and offer a springboard for further fine-mapping, resequencing and transcriptomic analysis.
An insertion-deletion (indel) polymorphism within the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of HLA-C has been shown to be involved in the regulation of HLA-C expression. Individuals who carry a deletion at this position exhibit increased HLA-C expression, which associates with lower viral set point in HIV-1 infected individuals. This 263 indel (rs67384697) is reported to be in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 35 kilobases upstream of HLA-C (-35T/C; rs9264942) in Caucasian individuals, making this SNP a potential marker for both HLA-C expression and HIV-1 disease progression. We therefore examined genetic variation within the HLA-C 3′ UTR of 265 Black and Caucasian South Africans by direct sequencing and identified haplotypes encompassing the 263 indel and another indel at position 230 in both populations. Concomitant evaluation of variability at the −35 SNP revealed this polymorphism to be an inappropriate marker for the 263 indel in these populations. These findings provide important insights into genetic variability within the regulatory regions of HLA-C that have potential implications for our understanding of the regulation of HLA-C expression and its impact on HIV-1 disease progression.
Genotyping technologies enable us to genotype multiple Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) within selected genes/regions, providing data for haplotype association analysis. While haplotype-based association analysis is powerful for detecting untyped causal alleles in linkage-disequilibrium (LD) with neighboring SNPs/haplotypes, the inclusion of extraneous SNPs could reduce its power by increasing the number of haplotypes with each additional SNP.
Here, we propose a haplotype-based stepwise procedure (HBSP) to eliminate extraneous SNPs. To evaluate its properties, we applied HBSP to both simulated and real data, generated from a study of genetic associations of the bactericidal/permeability-increasing (BPI) gene with pulmonary function in a cohort of patients following bone marrow transplantation.
Under the null hypothesis, use of the HBSP gave results that retained the desired false positive error rates when multiple comparisons were considered. Under various alternative hypotheses, HBSP had adequate power to detect modest genetic associations in case-control studies with 500, 1,000 or 2,000 subjects. In the current application, HBSP led to the identification of two specific SNPs with a positive validation.
These results demonstrate that HBSP retains the essence of haplotype-based association analysis while improving analytic power by excluding extraneous SNPs. Minimizing the number of SNPs also enables simpler interpretation and more cost-effective applications.
Background: It is well established that estrogen increases endometrial cancer risk, whereas progesterone opposes the estrogen effects. The PROGINS allele of the progesterone receptor (PGR) gene reduces the function of PGR and has been associated with increased risk of the endometrioid type ovarian cancer. We investigated whether genetic variation in PGR is also associated with endometrial cancer risk using a haplotype-based approach. Methods: We pooled data from two endometrial cancer case–control studies that were nested within two prospective cohorts, the Multiethnic Cohort Study and the California Teachers Study. Seventeen haplotype-tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across four linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks spanning the PGR locus were genotyped in 583 incident cases and 1936 control women. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with each haplotype were estimated using conditional logistic regression, stratified by age and ethnicity. Results: Genetic variation in LD block 3 of the PGR locus was associated with endometrial cancer risk (Pglobal test = 0.002), with haplotypes 3C, 3D and 3F associated with 31–34% increased risk. Among whites (383 cases/840 controls), genetic variation in all four blocks was associated with increased endometrial cancer risk (Pglobal test = 0.010, 0.013, 0.005 and 0.020). Haplotypes containing the PROGINS allele and several haplotypes in blocks 1, 3 and 4 were associated with 34–77% increased risk among whites. SNP analyses for whites suggested that rs608995, partially linked to the PROGINS allele (r2 = 0.6), was associated with increased risk (OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.06–1.59). Conclusions: Our results suggest that genetic variation in the PGR region is associated with endometrial cancer risk.
The goal of this study was to develop and implement methodology that would aid in the analysis of extended high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) major histocompatibility complex (MHC) haplotypes combined with human leucocyte antigen (HLA) alleles in relation to type 1 diabetes risk.
High-density SNP genotype data (2918 SNPs) across the MHC from the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium (1240 families), in addition to HLA data, were processed into haplotypes using PEDCHECK and MERLIN, and extended DR3 haplotypes were analysed.
With this large dense set of SNPs, the conservation of DR3-B8-A1 (8.1) haplotypes spanned the MHC (≥99% SNP identity). Forty-seven individuals homozygous for the 8.1 haplotype also shared the same homozygous genotype at four ‘sentinel’ SNPs (rs2157678 ‘T’, rs3130380 ‘A’, rs3094628 ‘C’ and rs3130352 ‘T’). Conservation extended from HLA-DQB1 to the telomeric end of the SNP panels (3.4 Mb total). In addition, we found that the 8.1 haplotype is associated with lower risk than other DR3 haplotypes by both haplotypic and genotypic analyses [haplotype: p = 0.009, odds ratio (OR) = 0.65; genotype: p = 6.3 × 10−5, OR = 0.27]. The 8.1 haplotype (from genotypic analyses) is associated with lower risk than the high-risk DR3-B18-A30 haplotype (p = 0.01, OR = 0.23), but the DR3-B18-A30 haplotype did not differ from other non-8.1 DR3 haplotypes relative to diabetes association.
The 8.1 haplotype demonstrates extreme conservation (>3.4 Mb) and is associated with significantly lower risk for type 1 diabetes than other DR3 haplotypes.
8.1 haplotype; extended haplotypes; major histocompatibility complex; T1DGC; type 1 diabetes
The genetic association of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) to rheumatoid arthritis risk has commonly been attributed to HLA-DRB1 alleles. Yet controversy persists about the causal variants in HLA-DRB1 and the presence of independent effects elsewhere in the MHC. Using existing genome-wide SNP data in 5,018 seropositive cases and 14,974 controls, we imputed and tested classical alleles and amino acid polymorphisms for HLA-A, B, C, DPA1, DPB1, DQA1, DQB1, and DRB1 along with 3,117 SNPs across the MHC. Conditional and haplotype analyses reveal that three amino acid positions (11, 71 and 74) in HLA-DRβ1, and single amino acid polymorphisms in HLA-B (position 9) and HLA-DPβ1 (position 9), all located in the peptide-binding grooves, almost completely explain the MHC association to disease risk. This study illustrates how imputation of functional variation from large reference panels can help fine-map association signals in the MHC.
HLA haplotype sharing was studied in 35 sibships in which there were two or more members with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Haplotype sharing RA siblings was random in 15 sibships which included members with clinical or immunological features of autoimmune thyroid disease. In the remaining 20 'non-thyroid' sibships the frequencies of RA siblings sharing 0, 1, or 2 haplotypes were 0.04, 0.48, and 0.48 respectively (p = 0.006). 67% of RA probands in the 'thyroid' families and 90% in the other families were HLA-DR4 positive. It is suggested that there is genetic heterogeneity in the pathogenesis of RA with at least two independent genes within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) predisposing to RA. One gene is in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-DR4, while results of comparison of DR antigen frequencies in DR4 negative RA and control groups suggest that the other is in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-DR1 and 3. In the thyroid disease families both genes are frequently present and as either may predispose to arthritis, HLA haplotype sharing is random. The frequencies of HLA haplotype sharing in the 'non-thyroid' families suggest that there is a dominant susceptibility gene in linkage disequilibrium with HLA-DR4, whose frequency is 5% and penetrance about 20%.
The availability of both HLA data and genotypes for thousands of SNPs across the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) in 1240 complete families of the Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium allowed us to analyze the occurrence and extent of megabase contiguous identity for founder chromosomes from unrelated individuals. We identified 82 HLA-defined haplotype groups, and within these groups, megabase regions of SNP identity were readily apparent. The conserved chromosomes within the 82 haplotype groups comprise approximately one third of the founder chromosomes. It is currently unknown whether such frequent conservation for groups of unrelated individuals is specific to the MHC, or if initial binning by highly polymorphic HLA alleles facilitated detection of a more general phenomenon within the MHC. Such common identity, specifically across the MHC, impacts type 1 diabetes susceptibility and may impact transplantation between unrelated individuals.
Type 1 diabetes; MHC; HLA; Extended haplotypes; SNP; 8.1; DR8
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system of unknown etiology with both genetic and environmental factors playing a role in susceptibility. To date, the HLA DR15/DQ6 haplotype within the major histocompatibility complex on chromosome 6p, is the strongest genetic risk factor associated with MS susceptibility. Additional alleles of IL7 and IL2 have been identified as risk factors for MS with small effect. Here we present two independent studies supporting an allelic association of MS with polymorphisms in the ST8SIA1 gene, located on chromosome 12p12 and encoding ST8 alpha-N-acetyl-neuraminide alpha-2,8-sialyltransferase 1. The initial association was made in a single three-generation family where a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4762896, was segregating together with HLA DR15/DQ6 in MS patients. A study of 274 family trios ( affected child and both unaffected parents) from Australia validated the association of ST8SIA1 in individuals with MS, showing transmission disequilibrium of the paternal alleles for three additional SNPs, namely rs704219, rs2041906, and rs1558793, with p = 0.001, p = 0.01 and p = 0.01 respectively. These findings implicate ST8SIA1 as a possible novel susceptibility gene for MS.
The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha gene lies within the class III region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), telomeric to the class II and centromeric to the class I region. We have recently described the first polymorphism within the human TNF-alpha locus. This is biallelic and lies within the promoter region. Frequency analysis of the TNF-alpha polymorphism, using the polymerase chain reaction and single-stranded conformational polymorphism, in HLA-typed individuals, reveals a very strong association between the uncommon TNF allele and HLA A1, B8, and DR3 alleles. This is the first association between TNF- alpha and other MHC alleles and raises the possibility that the uncommon TNF-alpha allele may contribute to the many autoimmune associations of the A1,B8,DR3 haplotype.
Using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we sought to predict classical class I and class II human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles, and test for their associations with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium sample of cases and controls, genotyped on the Illumina HumanHap550 BeadChip. We use publicly available databases of SNP data and HLA data to find SNPs or SNP-haplotypes to be used as surrogates for each HLA allele. To reduce the confounding effects of linkage disequilibrium with the HLA-DRB1 locus, we tested for the association conditional on the presence or absence of a shared epitope allele on the same haplotype as the target HLA allele. Using SNP surrogates, we find that components of the DQ8 serotype (DQA1*0301:DQB1*0302) are associated with RA, irrespective of the presence or absence of a shared epitope allele on their respective haplotypes. Knowledge of the haplotype structure in the HLA region is still necessary for better interpretation of the results.
Genetic variation within the HLA-B locus has the strongest impact on HIV disease progression of any polymorphisms within the human genome. However, identifying the exact mechanism involved is complicated by several factors. HLA-Bw4 alleles provide ligands for NK cells and for CD8 T cells, and strong linkage disequilibrium between HLA class I alleles complicates the discrimination of individual HLA allelic effects from those of other HLA and non-HLA alleles on the same haplotype. Here, we exploit an experiment of nature involving two recently diverged HLA alleles, HLA-B*42:01 and HLA-B*42:02, which differ by only a single amino acid. Crucially, they occur primarily on identical HLA class I haplotypes and, as Bw6 alleles, do not act as NK cell ligands and are therefore largely unconfounded by other genetic factors. We show that in an outbred cohort (n = 2,093) of HIV C-clade-infected individuals, a single amino acid change at position 9 of the HLA-B molecule critically affects peptide binding and significantly alters the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes targeted, measured directly ex vivo by gamma interferon (IFN-γ) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay (P = 2 × 10−10) and functionally through CTL escape mutation (P = 2 × 10−8). HLA-B*42:01, which presents multiple Gag epitopes, is associated with a 0.52 log10 lower viral-load set point than HLA-B*42:02 (P = 0.02), which presents no p24 Gag epitopes. The magnitude of this effect from a single amino acid difference in the HLA-A*30:01/B*42/Cw*17:01 haplotype is equivalent to 75% of that of HLA-B*57:03, the most protective HLA class I allele in this population. This naturally controlled experiment represents perhaps the clearest demonstration of the direct impact of a particular HIV-specific CTL on disease control.
The susceptibility to develop seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been linked to specific genomic polymorphisms within the HLA complex. Two different haplotypes have been associated with the disease, HLA-DR1 and HLA-DR4. To investigate the link between such phenotypic disease associations and potential immune mechanisms we used alloreactive and antigen-specific human T cell clones. Here we describe a panel of alloreactive T cell clones directed to polymorphic determinants encoded by the third hypervariable region (hvr) of the HLA-DR beta 1-chain. T cell determinants defined by these clones are shared among HLA-DR1, HLA-Dw4, HLA-Dw13, HLA-Dw14, and HLA-Dw15, and are frequent in a population of RA patients. To study the role of such disease-associated epitopes in antigen-restricted T cell recognition we generated T cell clones from RA patients specific for mycobacterial antigens, Epstein-Barr virus antigens, and tetanus toxoid. In all three antigenic systems T cell clones were restricted to either HLA-DR1 or HLA-DR4. These data suggest that the polymorphisms within the first and second hvr of the HLA-DR beta 1-chain that are distinct in HLA-DR1 and HLA-DR4 and not associated with the disease are crucially involved in the recognition of antigens. Polymorphic determinants encoded by the third hvr are shared among disease-associated haplotypes and may function to mediate the interaction of alloreactive T cell receptor molecules with the HLA complex.
Psoriasis is a genetically complex, chronic inflammatory skin disease. The authors have previously identified a susceptibility locus on chromosome 19p13 (PSORS6).
Methods and results:
In a follow-up linkage disequilibrium (LD) study in an independent family based cohort, the authors found evidence for association to a newly discovered microsatellite at this locus (D19SPS21, p<5.3×10−5). An LD based association scan in 300 trios revealed association to several single, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in one LD block. When the authors stratified this cohort for carrying the PSORS1 risk allele at the HLA-C locus, evidence for association became much stronger at single SNP and haplotype levels (p values between 1.0×10−4 and 8.0×10−4). In a replication study of 1114 patients and 937 control individuals, evidence for association was also observed after stratification to the PSORS1 risk allele. In both study groups, logistic regression showed evidence for interaction between the risk alleles at PSORS1 and PSORS6. Best p values for rs12459358 in both study groups remained significant after correction for multiple testing. The associated LD block did not comprise any known genes. Interestingly, an adjacent gene, MUC16, coding for a large glycosylated protein expressed in epithelia and of unknown function, could be shown to be also expressed in tissues relevant for pathogenesis of psoriasis such as skin and thymus. Immunohistochemical analyses of skin revealed focal staining for MUC16 in suprabasal epidermal cells. Further functional studies are required to clarify its potential role in psoriasis and identify the causal variant(s) at this locus.
The data establish PSORS6 as a confirmed psoriasis susceptibility locus showing interaction with PSORS1.